Vernon-based Okanagan Valley Feeds is the first business ready to break ground in a proposed agri-hub in the Township of Spallumcheen in 2022. A survey on the hub is being conducted by the township. (okanaganvalleyfeeds.com)

Vernon-based Okanagan Valley Feeds is the first business ready to break ground in a proposed agri-hub in the Township of Spallumcheen in 2022. A survey on the hub is being conducted by the township. (okanaganvalleyfeeds.com)

Survey vital for agri-industry future in Spallumcheen

Relaunch of 2021 survey happening this week; township looks to enhance opportunities in proposed hub

Already known as an area where ‘farming comes first,’ the Township of Spallumcheen wants to enhance opportunities for North Okanagan farmers in a township hub while providing opportunities for economic development.

The township is relaunching its South Spallumcheen Industrial Area Agri-Industry Feasibility Study (or agri-hub study). The survey,originally conducted in late 2021, will help identify if agri-industry uses are viable for the study area.

Feedback, said township Mayor Christine Fraser, is critical.

“We want to know what our farmers want, what our consumers want and what our residents,” said Fraser.

A final report will indicate why or why not agri-industry can be supported.

Agri-industry uses complement and/or support a local agricultural economy by producing, selling, or supplying agricultural products and/or services. That includes:

• Food processing plants (e.g. milk, cheese, jams, juices, flour, grains);

• Slaughterhouses/abattoirs;

• Fruit and vegetable packing houses;

• Cold storage facilities;

• Distilleries, breweries, wineries;

• Manufacturing of farm machinery and equipment.

The proposed hub in the township’s southeast sector is the Sengotta property on three parcels of land on the west side of Highways 97 and 97A between Vernon and Armstrong.

The area has already attracted one North Okanagan agri-industry.

Okanagan Valley Feeds in Vernon plans to break ground on a new feed mill in the township this spring.

“From nutritionally balanced feed to farm management strategies, Okanagan Valley Feeds will work with farmers to achieve optimum results for their livestock,” said the company on its website. “All types of feed for all types of farmers will be available at OVF.”

Fraser added the township is also considering to lease small parcels of land to young agrarians to help them get started in the industry.

The agri-hub survey is being conducted by the township in partnership with Urban Systems Ltd. and Zbeetnoff Agro-Environmental Consulting Inc. It is available at https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/SpallumcheenAgriIndustrySurvey.

If you are a member of the local agricultural community, whether that be a farmer or agri-industry business owner, the township wants to hear from you. Please submit any questions, comments, or ideas you may have for agri-industry uses in Spallumcheen to planner@spallumcheentwp.bc.ca.

This story was updated Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 11:21 a.m. to include link to the survey

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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